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APALA Condemns Forced Labor in Uyghur Region and Stands in Solidarity With Workers in China Fighting Exploitation
On November 22, protests erupted at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory, the world’s largest producer of Apple and Amazon products, because of their “closed loop production” policy which trapped workers inside their work complex. Earlier this week, a report by Sheffield Hallam University’s Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice, Driving Force: Automotive Supply Chains and Forced Labor in the Uyghur Region, was released detailing the oppression that permeates through the supply chains of nearly every major car maker. As the first and largest organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) workers, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) strongly condemns economic and foreign policies that harm U.S. and Chinese workers. APALA urges all U.S. companies to monitor their supply chains more thoroughly and terminate their relationships with companies using forced labor.
Abuses against Uyghur and other Chinese workers are often driven by the need to increase the profitability of corporations at the expense of workers. These profits, enabled by corporate entities and authoritarian labor conditions, directly benefit Chinese elites and those of us in consumption countries like the U.S. The growth in U.S.-China tensions have not only exacerbated domestic hate incidents towards AAPIs but also played into the hands of union-busting corporations across sectors and war profiteers through ballooning national defense budgets. Nationalism is a key tool that politicians in both the U.S. and China use to deflect domestic criticism of the shortcomings of their economic and foreign policy agendas.
Atley Chock, APALA National Executive Board Member and chair of APALA’s International Solidarity working group, said, “We must continue to build solidarity between workers in China and the United States as we fight global corporate greed and neoliberal economic policies. As supply chains across multiple sectors increase their dependence on the abuse and exploitation of workers across Asia, APALA is dedicated to continuing to build stronger ties between workers across the globe to continue the fight for worker rights and human dignity.”
APALA calls for:
- The immediate release of all students, workers, and protestors detained after the November protests in Urumqi-Shanghai.
- All global auto brands and suppliers to work together with the United Auto Workers and United Steel Workers to immediately take meaningful, transparent steps to ensure their supply chains are not tainted with Uyghur forced labor.
- All corporations must thoroughly investigate their supply chains down to raw materials and establish high-road supply chain models that protect labor and human rights, and the environment.
- The Biden administration to ensure stricter enforcement of import bans of products made with forced labor.
Founded in 1992, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), AFL-CIO, is the first and only national organization of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) workers, most of whom are union members and our allies, building power for AAPI workers and communities.